University News

First 'Recreation for All: Disabled Athletes in Action' Event Sept. 25 at WIU

September 19, 2022

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University will host the inaugural "Recreation for All: Disabled Athletes in Action," beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 in the Donald S. Spencer Student Recreation Center.

The WIU Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration is partnering with Campus Recreation and the Office of Student Engagement to create an event for the WIU and Macomb communities to learn about adapted recreation through participation in inclusive sporting activities.

The event was organized as the result of a grant awarded to the RPTA program from the WIU Foundation. The money paid for six sport wheelchairs to be used to educate the campus community about adapted sports.

Adaptive sport provides a space where people, disabled or not, are exposed to traditional sport and modified sport in an environment that allows not only participation and training, but also competition. Awareness of adaptive sport also helps individuals of various ages, ability levels, and social roles develop vocational skills, gaining knowledge about disability and opportunities for engagement.

The Sept. 25 event will also provide educational opportunities about the uniqueness of Illinois' Special Recreation Associations, WIU's Disability Resource Center, and to engage in adaptive recreation activities like goalball, beep baseball, sitting volleyball, wheelchair softball and wheelchair basketball. This event is designed so that attendees can come and go as their schedules allow.

This year's schedule includes:

• 1-3 p.m. - Adaptive recreation and sporting activities (open to WIU students, staff and faculty)
• 3-3:50 p.m. – Panel discussion with athletes and advocates – open to the public
4:30-5:30 p.m. - Exhibition wheelchair basketball game – open to the public

The exhibition wheelchair basketball game will be played by disabled athletes from the Lincolnway Special Recreation Association and University of Illinois Wheelchair Athletics program. Both programs have had athletes who have gone on to compete at the Paralympics and other elite levels of competition.

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